Manchester United missed out on Julian Alvarez in 2022 but there is plenty more talent in Argentina the club could turn to this summer.
Erik ten Hag knows better than most Manchester United managers that there are gems to be bought from Argentina.
He was in charge when Ajax snapped up Lisandro Martinez from Defensa for a fee of just £6 million. They went onto sell him for £46 million to Manchester United last summer.
Now with Manchester United having a limited budget and a severe lack of goalscorers, it may be worth the club looking to bolster the ranks by striking a cheap deal for a young Argentine forward. Here is a look at three the Red Devils could consider…
The lead goalscorer for River Plate this season amid their title win, 22-year-old Lucas Beltran is attracting interest from European clubs already.
TMW reported last month that AC Milan, Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid are all taking notice of Beltran, who has an Italian passport.
He is reported to have a release clause just over £20 million in his contract, although interested clubs could potentially get him for less.
Beltran has scored 15 times for River Plate in 2023, averaging a goal ever 119 minutes in league action. River had loaned him out to Colon, before he came back into their first team after Julian Alvarez’s departure.
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La Nacion notes he is nicknamed The Viking, praising the way he drops deep to get involved in the build-up, and works hard off the ball, adding: “He annoys, wears down, hinders rival defenders. He beats them out of exhaustion.”
One of the top young prospects still playing in Argentina, Alejo Veliz plays for Rosario Central, where he was handed his debut at 17 by Kily Gonzalez.
Veliz, now 19, has established himself as a regular for Rosario and already has 17 first team goals to his name.
The young centre-forward recently featured for Argentina at the under-20 World Cup, scoring at the tournament.
Veliz does have a vague Manchester United connection, one of his former managers at Rosario was Carlos Tevez, who took charge of the club for a spell in 2022.
La Capita praise his qualities, noting after his latest goal at the weekend, “he demonstrated the presence that is required of a 9.”
Not quite a striker, Gianluca Prestianni is a right winger, one who is making waves in his homeland at just 17-years-old.
Prestianni made his first team debut for Velez Sarsfield at 16, even appearing in the Copa Libertadores at the same age, becoming the club’s youngest ever player.
He already has 26 appearances to his name, scoring twice, making an impact when most of his peers are playing in the reserves.
Prestianni has an Italian passport and turns 18 in January. United would have to loan him back until then if a move was made this summer.
Football Italia has reported Italy are trying to convince him to play for them, while he has represented Argentina at under-17 level.
Goal quote Guillermo Morigi, Velez’s youth coordinator: “He is fast, powerful and has a very good understanding of the game,” Morigi said. “Where he differs from the rest and is special is with his ability in one-on-one situations.”